Though we are reaching the end of it, this year’s flu season is predicted to be especially long and especially severe. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do around the home to protect your family members from catching cold and flu viruses.
Disinfect high-traffic areas – These areas include remote controls, computer keyboards, countertops, phones, sinks, and doorknobs. This is important because the main way the flu spreads is when you touch something someone who had flu germs on their hand previously touched. Therefore, disinfecting these areas of your home is especially important if someone in the family is already sick.
Sanitize your cleaning tools – Reusable cleaning tools like sponges, dish and dust rags, mops, and others can actually spread germs if they are not sanitized in between uses. Wash these tools at high temperatures in order to sanitize them (you can also nuke the sponge in the microwave), or rely more heavily on disposable paper towels during flu season.
Go with copper – You probably won’t get around to installing new sinks by the end of this year’s flu season, but the next time you remodel, you might consider installing copper sinks and fixtures if your family is prone to getting sick. Copper and copper alloys are EPA-approved germ killers, meaning that microorganisms that cause illness cannot live on copper surfaces for long. Besides copper sinks, you can also buy other copper fixtures, including doorknobs and switch plates.
Humidify your home – Research shows that having healthy humidity levels in your home can create an inhospitable environment for flu viruses. Thus, a whole-home air filtration system that includes humidity control may help prevent your family from getting sick during flu season.
Besides the above flu-busting recommendations for your home, the following general tips will also help protect you from the flu:
- Washing your hands often using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Not touching your nose, mouth, or eyes.
- Staying away from people who have the flu.
- Protecting your immune system by getting plenty of sleep, managing stress, avoiding alcohol, and getting proper nutrition.